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MacArthur’s path to victory narrows further

Few new mail-in ballots in Ocean Thursday

By Nikita Biryukov, November 08 2018 5:14 pm

Rep. Tom MacArthur’s path to reelection narrowed Thursday, when the Ocean County Board of Elections had only received only 46 new countable vote-by-mail ballots.

At the moment, Andy Kim leads MacArthur by 2,622 votes, 148,580 to 145,958. The trickle of post-election day mail-in ballots has little hope of bridging that gap, as Ocean has now received only 308 new countable ballots, not all of which are from voters in the third district.

The county received 200 mail-in ballots on Thursday, of which 63 were postmarked by election day. Seventeen on those countable ballots were not sent from the third district.

Yesterday, 245 countable mail-in ballots came into Ocean. It’s not clear how many of those ballots were sent by voters in the third congressional district.

There’s still a chance that MacArthur receives a bigger boost from late-arriving ballots, as the board is expecting another batch of mail-in ballots to come in at 6:45 p.m.

None of the ballots that came in Wednesday or Thursday have been counted yet. That counting will begin on Friday, and updated vote tallies should come in from both Ocean and Burlington counties at some point tomorrow.

Those counts won’t include the Ocean’s 2,404 provisional ballots, nor will they include the roughly 4,000 provisional ballots cast in Burlington County.

The counties’ Superintendents of Elections are working to validate those ballots, making sure the voters that cast them were registered in the district.

Election officials expect to begin counting provisional ballots on Monday or Tuesday.

That means vote totals won’t change over the weekend, so things will continue looking grim for MacArthur until then.

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